"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How We Appreciate Teachers

It is Teacher Appreciation Week. The Facebook page of the US president has the following post:
President Obama on teachers: "We really can’t say enough about how important their role is in making sure that America succeeds. So thank you for what you’re giving our children and what you’re giving our nation." 
Happy Teacher Appreciation Day.
Above photo copied from Barack Obama Facebook page
In less than 12 hours, the post has received more than a hundred thousand likes and and three thousand comments. In the Philippines, the following are recent posts from teacher groups. The first one is from Teachers' Dignity:

PROTEST DE MAYO!
JOIN THE PROTEST AGAINST THE UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE PBB SCHEME AND DEMAND FOR A P10,000 INCREASE FOR TEACHERS' SALARY!
SEE YOU ALL IN FRONT OF DBM GATES AT P. CASAL ST., FOOT OF AYALA BRIDGE, MANILA AT 9:00AM, THURSDAY, MAY 8.

PLEASE SPREAD!

-----------QUOTED FROM NEWS--------------
TDC vows to launch series of mass actions this month dubbed as PROTEST DE MAYO, a Santacruzan-inspired series of actions starting this week up to the resumption of classes in June.

“On Thursday, we will launch ‘Protests De Mayo’ in front of DBM office and will march Sagala-style to Mendiola Bridge to protest government’s inaction on the demands of public school teachers.” Basas ended.
PLEASE SPREAD!
Above copied from Teachers' Dignity
 And the second one is from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers:

Above copied from Alliance of Concerned Teachers - Philippines
The lack of respect and appreciation for teachers in the Philippines goes deeper than not providing these professionals with adequate salaries. The following memorandum illustrates how the profession is regarded:


This is a memorandum that demonstrates how the Philippine government measures teachers. The above memo comes with a table of teacher applicants. The columns of the table have the following headings:


The above is not easy to read so here are the headings:

  • Name of applicant
  • Address and contact number
  • Contact number
  • Preferred school
  • Education (20 pts.)
  • PBET or LET rating (10 pts.)
  • Experential Learning Course (5 pts.)
  • Teaching Experience (15 pts.)
  • Specialized Training Skills (5 pts.)
  • Interview (10 pts.)
  • Demonstration (20 pts.)
  • Communication Skills (15 pts.)
  • Total points
Under Education, it looks like the points are given based on the applicant's GPA. The same holds for the licensure examination score. I could only guess how the following are scored: interview, demonstration and communication skills. These three alone can amount to as much as 45 percent of how a teacher applicant is rated in the Philippines. In any case, the above clearly demonstrates an awful bean counting procedure. And it is applied to the teaching profession. It does not show appreciation. It illustrates disrespect.

First of all, if DepEd is concerned about teaching effectiveness as measured by learning outcomes, it needs to examine first if the measures indeed correlate with student performance. The study quoted in the previous post on this blog, Who Can Teach Science, shows that measures that involve observation (the ones given 45 points above: interview, demonstration, and communication skills) do not correlate with a professional development program, and that of all indicators, a teacher's knowledge of the subject is the largest predictor of student achievement. 

It is teacher appreciation week, but it will probably take a long time before we truly learn to appreciate our teachers....




No comments:

Post a Comment